Tillamook Carrot Mac & Cheese
As one of the few token moms of the Tillamook Marketing/Communications team, I find myself always sharing stories of my kids (and their love of all things Tillamook). Honestly, mostly my two boys (3½ and 7½) just eat Tillamook au natural – cheese sliced up as a snack (or meal, or lunch box inclusion), yogurt right out of the cup – no need for fancy recipes for them to enjoy the Tillamook goodness. But, they are pretty partial to homemade mac and cheese. We have a few recipes we rotate, but this is one of my favorites because it (in a very non-obvious to kids-way) includes a little bit of vegetable. ;-) Don’t tell the kids, the shredded carrot pretty much looks just like shredded cheddar. Not sure mine have ever really noticed it! If you’re making this for grown-ups and want to add some extra spice, feel free to add a little cayenne or hot sauce into the egg mixture with the mustard powder.
Yield: 6 servings
2 cups macaroni noodles
2½ cups coarsely grated carrot (about 8 small carrots)
3 cups grated Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese
¼ cup (½ stick) Tillamook Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
¾ cup Tillamook Sour Cream
¼ cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon mustard powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400°F and grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Cook macaroni according to package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water. Add grated carrot 3 minutes before pasta is finished cooking, then drain well. While pasta is hot, stir in all but ½ cup of the cheddar and the butter.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, salt, mustard powder, and pepper. Fold mixture into the pasta. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan then sprinkle the remaining cheddar and the parmesan over the top. Bake until the casserole is firm to the touch and golden brown, about 30 minutes.